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Private Labs Should Face Consequences For High Covid-19 PCR Test Profits – SACP

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Private Labs Should Face Consequences For High Covid-19 PCR Test Profits – SACP

The SACP has called for laboratories to face consequences following the significant profits made as a result of high Covid-19 PCR test pricing.

On Sunday the Competition Commission held an urgent media briefing to inform the country of the “groundbreaking agreement” reached between two of South Africa’s biggest private laboratories, which will now see people paying R500 for a Covid-19 PCR test and not R850.

The Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) laid a complaint against private pathology laboratories, alleging that the price for supplying PCR tests for Covid testing was “unfairly inflated, exorbitant and/or unjustifiable”.

Through investigations, the commission found that these labs have been making significant profits – although the amount of profits had not been confirmed.

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According to Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele, between September and October the commission was alerted through a number of meetings and telephonic discussions – including discussions with the Department of Health and health-care funders – of possible pricing abuse for Covid-19 PCR tests to the detriment of vulnerable consumers and customers.

SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said while welcoming the slashed price, the matter should be further investigated.

“There must be consequences for the profits made from the exorbitant pricing of the Covid-19 PCR tests.

“In general, to put people before profit, no health-care-related pricing should be left without scrutiny. Besides the Covid-19 PCR tests, among others the price of medicine is exorbitant. Steps need to be taken to protect the people against unfair pricing in the entire health-care sector,” he said.

Bonakele encouraged medical aid schemes and laboratories to adhere to the latest reduction in PCR tests.

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JUST IN: Oscar Mabuyane Wins Eastern Cape ANC Elections

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JUST IN: Oscar Mabuyane Wins Eastern Cape ANC Elections

The Eastern Cape provincial chairperson position has been retained by Oscar Mabuyane.

Oscar Mabuyane faced a s tiff competition from former provincial treasurer Babalo Madikizela.

Mr Mabuyane had 812 votes while his rival obtained 662 cast in a heavily contested election.

Meanwhile, Mlungisi Mvoko was elected as the deputy chairperson.

The national chairperson Gwede Mantashe address the ANC members at its conference which began on Saturday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was supposed to deliver the closing remarks on Sunday, but this was moved to Monday after delays.

The governing party used Sunday to deal with the issue of credentials and planned to complete the conference on Monday.

On Sunday until of some of the branch delegates were adopted, the party was stuck on the question of credentials for hours.

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More than 1 300 eligible voting delegates participated in electing the five leaders to lead the province and the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC).

The battle for control of the party had been intense with both sides pushing hard for their candidates.

ANC NEC deployee Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said “The issues there were about the authority of the court about Rubusana.”

According to him, they had to attend to some serious issues raised at the conference.

This related to the judgment on Saturday that rejected an urgent application by some of the members to exclude some of the branches from the Dr BW Rubusana region.

Motsoaledi said this was one of the sticking points but the conference eventually forged ahead.

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Ramaphosa, Xi Jinping Call For End Of War In Ukraine

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Ramaphosa, Xi Jinping Call For End Of War In Ukraine

President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have expressed concern about the situation in Ukraine and called for an end to the conflict.

This follows a telephone discussion between Xi and Ramaphosa on Friday.

Xi is the alternate leader that Ramaphosa has verified he has spoken to after the conflict erupted in Ukraine.

A week ago he took a call from Russian chairman Vladimir Putin, and during the question and answer session in the public council this week, Ramaphosa said Putin had emphasised the issue of accommodations to chancing a result.

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On Friday he said he’d held analogous addresses with Xi. The chairman also said this week he’d been asked to intervene in Ukraine.

He called for an end to the conflict, saying durable peace was demanded in Ukraine. Ramaphosa had said it would be wrong to simply condemn one side and prompted both parties to come to the negotiating table.

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has also been prompted to play a commanding part in ending the conflict. Ramaphosa this week also called for the reform of the UN Security Council.

Ramaphosa said it was wrong that for a mainland like Africa, with a population of1.3 billion people, it doesn’t have a endless seat in the security council.

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JUST IN: Mbali Ntuli Is The Latest Black Leader To Resign From DA

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JUST IN: Mbali Ntuli Is The Latest Black Leader To Resign From DA

Mbali Ntuli has joined a growing list of prominent black leaders who have left the Democratic Alliance in recent times after she blazoned her abdication from the party on Thursday.

In a statement, Ntuli verified she proffered her abdication as a member of the DA and member of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature.

According to her, her decision to quit was not easy, “but one that is necessary for my growth as a community leader”.

The former DA Youth leader who made her bournes clear when she, also Gauteng leader John Moody and John Steenhuisen challenged each other for the public leader position in the last optional conference.

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She has frequently spoken out against the DA’s leadership and programs, substantially criminating it of being ineffective and lacking.

In a letter publicizing her intention to dispute the position of party leader, Ntuli noted there were major issues defying the party and its leadership.

She said the party had lost benefactors “ who no longer believe in us”, throwing the DA into a fiscal extremity and as a result, there wasn’t enough backing for constituencies to do political conditioning.

In 2020, Ntuli wrote an open letter named “ Interposers and Outlanders The politicisation of our DA correctional processes”, where she recalled how at some point, the party’s top brass wanted to expel her using bogus charges.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa Pleads With UN To Intervene In Russia-Ukraine Conflict

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President Cyril Ramaphosa Tests Positive For Covid-19

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the intervention of the UN Security Council in the conflict in Ukraine, saying it was not necessary for people to be killed when there was an option of engagement.

Ramaphosa told a litigation forum on Friday that the UN had to intervene to stop the war in the Ukraine.

Russia launched attacks on Ukraine this week.

But it has been condemned by Western countries who have also sent thousands of troops on the eastern flank in Europe.

Ramaphosa said the UN cannot keep quiet when there were options available to stop the conflict.

He said through negotiation, mediation and engagement what is going on in Ukraine could be stopped.

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He said people have been killed and infrastructure damaged.

“This mediation approach seems to be losing its effectiveness. We can see now the war that is going on in the Ukraine, I would say that that conflict is a conflict that should be subjected to mediation, to negotiation, to engagement, because it is not necessary for people to go to war, for getting people killed, infrastructure being damaged as it is now, and it behoves on countries of the world, particularly the UN Security Council.

“They are the ones who should be getting more and more engaged in a mediation and one does not see that happening. One does not see that full engagement, and it is this that should be happening to bring hostilities to an end,” said Ramaphosa.

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Zuma Returns To Court For Another Round With NPA’s Billy Downer

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Jacob Zuma Graft Trial Resumes Online After Deadly South Africa Violence

Late last year, Zuma and his legal team put a spanner in the works of his arms deal corruption trial when they applied to have Downer, the senior prosecutor of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) removed as the prosecutor of the high profile case.

Zuma argued that Downer did not have the title to prosecute him, and he further alleged that from as early as 2001, Downer had contaminated the case by leaking critical information to the media and CIA spies.

Zuma alleged that the leaking of information by Downer continued until August last year, when he allegedly leaked Zuma’s medical records to a journalist.

The application for recusal was then heard, and on October 26, Judge Piet Koen dismissed it and ordered that the corruption trial, which has dragged for almost 18 years, should go ahead in April this year.

Judge Koen was emphatic that Zuma’s argument that Downer lacks the title to prosecute was not convincing.

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“As the complaint was only made in argument and then in reply, Mr Downer did not have an opportunity to respond thereto. I accordingly also did not have the benefit of the issue having been dealt with fully in the argument. In those circumstances, I consider that it will be improper to consider the request for any such a referral further in this judgment,” Judge Koen said in part when handing down his judgment.

However, Zuma immediately made clear his intention to appeal against Judge Koen’s judgment, setting up another legal showdown with Downer and the NPA.

Koen’s ruling was based on oral arguments which were made in court before Zuma upped the ante and pressed criminal charges against Downer at the Pietermaritzburg police station.

In the criminal case which is now being probed by the SAPS, the spokesperson of the Jacob Zuma Foundation, Mzwanele Manyi, said the former head of state and his legal team had been kept abreast of developments.

He added that the NPA had appointed a team to see whether the matter should be referred for prosecution or not.

Even if Judge Koen turns down Zuma’s application to appeal, he still has the option of directly approaching the Supreme Court of Appeal and arguing the matter there.

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